In the noon hour Friday, retail investors appeared to be focused on driving up the price on just a handful of meme stocks. One of those stocks has been publicly traded for two decades and was founded by a legendary Texas oilman.
Clean Energy Fuels Corp. (NASDAQ: CLNE) got its start as a division of T. Boone Pickens’ Mesa Petroleum in 1993. In early November of 2020, the stock traded at around $2.50. In February, it hit a multiyear high of nearly $20 a share. Short interest in the stock began climbing from around 3 million shares in mid-December and reached about 11.6 million shares in late April, or about 7.6% of its total float.
While short interest was not extremely high, as short sellers piled in, some retail investors saw an opportunity for a short squeeze, forcing the shorts to cover and drive the price higher. The retail investors were having another go at the stock on Friday, driving the price up by more than 10%. Over the past 12 months, Clean Energy stock has added about 450% to its share price, although that’s off from a peak gain of around 750% in February.
EV maker Workhorse Group Inc. (NASDAQ: WKHS) added more than 5% to its share price Friday. On Wednesday, the company filed a formal complaint with the U.S. Federal Court of Claims protesting the award of a contract for the next generation of U.S. Postal Service delivery vans to Oshkosh. That contract was awarded in late February and its loss cost Workhorse more than half its share price.
A less venerable recent favorite of the meme stock investors is ContextLogic Inc. (NASDAQ: WISH), a mobile e-commerce that came public in December and recently had about 16% of its float sold short. Although the stock trades below its IPO price, its volatility has made some investors quite pleased with its presence in their portfolios. Shares traded up more than 5% in the noon hour Friday.
With Friday afternoon trading still to come, Clean Energy shares were up about 10% for the day, at $12.23 in a 52-week range of $2.011 to $19.79. The average daily trading volume is 13.69 million, and about 72 million shares had been traded so far Friday.
ContextLogic stock traded up about 4.9% in the noon hour Thursday, at $11.77 in a 52-week range of $7.52 to $32.85. The average daily trading volume on the stock is 27.7 million, and about 1102 million had traded so far Friday.
Shares of Workhorse traded up about 5.2% in the noon hour, at $15.19 in a 52-week range of $4.77 to $42.96. The average daily trading volume on the stock is 17.8 million. About 15 million had traded so far Friday.